“So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”;
as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:5-6)
One of the things that we might become aware of during the season of Lent is that we are not Christ. That is not a revelation that is surprising – of course we are not Christ. What I mean is that if we emulate Christ, we have to realize that we will not become what Christ was (nor what Christ is or will be). We are to be Christ-like, but we will never be the Divine that Christ is.
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; . . “ (Verses 7-9a)
This we can do – we can offer up prayers and supplications. We can ask God to be with us, and we can ask Jesus to guide us throughout our journey on this earth. We can learn obedience through being willing to suffer for God’s sake.
“ . . .and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Verses 9b-10)
Again, we are not and will not become the “source of eternal salvation”; but what we can do is be the model for being worthy of eternal salvation. Anabaptist/Mennonites believe in the “priesthood of all believers” meaning that everyone has within them the capability of connecting to and being in intimate relationship with God. We can see others as models of followers of God, and we can achieve faithful relationship with God.
I became sort of curious about Melchizedek. He does not appear for very long in the Old Testament but is held up as someone worthy of emulation and almost on par with Christ (or so says one of the sources I looked at.) What strikes me though as most interesting is that in a time when many gods were worship, Melchizedek already worshiped the “One God”. In the midst of much non-belief or polytheistic belief, he stands out. And perhaps that is what we should aim for, and a worthy “we-are-there” goal. To stand out as Christians faithful to God against all the things that work against that faithful belief.
May you beloved reader have this worthy goal for your Lenten season and beyond. Selah!